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Letter To Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

The following letter was sent to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis today:

July 3, 2020

The Honorable Ron DeSantis
Governor of Florida
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

VIA FACSIMILE - (850) 717-9337
VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL - governorron.desantis@eog.myflorida.com

Governor DeSantis,

While COVID19 cases have exploded in Florida, the deaths of Latinos keep growing. Coronavirus is infecting and killing Latinos all over the Sunshine State, and that’s why we are contacting you today. The League of United Latin American Citizens, better known as LULAC is the oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization in the country. I have been the president for the past three years.

We are here to save lives, and today we are announcing the LULAC Statewide Public Medical Safety Alert for Latinos in Florida. The US Census Bureau says there are nearly 5-million Latinos in your state. Florida Health officials report the tragedy now is Latinos are disproportionately getting sick faster than others from COVID-19 with some families seeing several loved ones getting infected or dying.

Here are the facts we have gathered from the Florida Department of Health:

  • Miami – Ft. Lauderdale - More than 46% of positive COVID-19 cases are Latinos.
  • Tampa - More than 20% of positive COVID-19 cases are Latinos.
  • Orlando - More than 15% of the positive cases are Latinos.

LULAC is declaring a Statewide Public Health Emergency for Florida and strongly urge you, Governor DeSantis, to take the following actions to slow the spread of the coronavirus and save lives all over the state, especially among the Latino Community:

  1. Issue an Executive Order immediately requiring Floridians statewide wear a face covering.
  2. Implement $500 fines for those who violate the mask order. Local public health workers, EMS, and fire department employees can enforce the penalties, because police already have a lot of work on their hands.
  3. Require government agencies and business owners to take the temperature of any person entering a public building, office, restaurant, or other social establishments.
  4. Call for a Special Emergency Legislative Session and vote to tap rainy day funds for medical care and vital services that target areas hard hit by the virus.
  5. Provide funding for public education via online learning for Latino families. Funds would also help Latino families who need laptops or online tools for learning purposes.
  6. Provide emergency state funds for small businesses to stay open with grants and payroll assistance.
  7. Ensure contract tracers and supervisors are bilingual and bicultural to minimize spread of COVID-19.

Governor, COVID-19 is not an issue about Republicans or Democrats. The disease is a human issue. Stop politicizing the safety of Floridians and do what needs to be done. Save the lives of men, women, and children who are desperately looking to you for leadership and answers.

I want to add the personal urging of Ms. Mari Corugedo, State Director, Florida LULAC:

“It’s imperative that our leaders and each one of us do our part to combat COVID-19 in any and all ways we can. Wearing a mask isn’t a matter of political opinion but vital to public health. We must help slow down the spread of this virus, and help ensure our communities become safer. This is the American way.

People who think wearing a mask is uncomfortable don’t even realize how excruciating it will be to have to use a ventilator. Please don’t allow personal inconvenience to be the thing that puts yourself and our most vulnerable populations at risk. If our goal is to restore our economy and way of life then it must start with the simpler things, and that includes wearing a mask.”

Will your legacy be one of a Governor who made the right decisions during difficult times, or will you be remembered as the Governor who played politics with the lives of Floridians? You have stated that your duty as Florida Governor is to the people of your state. Now is the time to prove it to the Hispanic Community, since as we are the most at risk in this pandemic. Governor DeSantis, one avoidable death is too much and thousands more can be prevented .You know what needs to be done. Let’s save Floridians together. We urge you to take action now before we see more people of Florida die.

Sincerely,

Domingo Garcia

LULAC National President

About LULAC
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/

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